The Evanston Township High School girls basketball team got the season off on the right foot with a strong showing in the Schaumburg Thanksgiving Tournament, capturing the tournament title by winning all five of their games.
In the season and tournament opener Nov. 17, the Wildkits beat Wheaton Warrenville South 48-25. In that game, the Kits set the tone early with strong defense, as they limited Wheaton to just 10 points in the first half and cruised from there. Junior Leighah-Amori Wool scored 15 points, including 13 in the second half, with juniors Savannah Norfleet and Leah Robinson each chipping in nine points to lead the Kits’ attack.
From there, the Kits kept the momentum going as they beat St. Charles East on Nov. 19 by a score of 55-49, Stevenson on Nov. 21 by a score of 47-32, and Rockford Boylan on Nov. 24 with a 51-22 score.
In beating Rockford Boylan, the Kits earned a trip to the tournament championship game against Schaumburg on Nov. 27. The Saxons had their eye on a second straight tournament title, but it wasn’t to be as the Kits won 41-25 to capture the championship. In that game, Leighah scored 13 points and eight rebounds to lead the Kits, and Savannah added 11 points and four steals. Leighah was awarded tournament MVP honors and she, Savannah and junior Krystal Forrester were named to the all-tournament team.
“We played solid defensively but did a lot of standing around on offense,” said Coach Elliot Whitefield regarding his team’s efforts against Schaumburg. “Schaumburg played excellent team defense and we needed to move the ball more quickly.”
In general, Coach Whitefield was pleased with the team’s overall performance but he knows there is still work to do. “I thought we played very hard in four of the five games. We improved our overall execution as the tournament went on.” The Coach added, “But like most teams, we have a lot of work ahead of us. If we put forth the necessary effort in practice and players understand their roles, we should be very competitive this season.”
Even though the Kits outscored their opponents 242-153 in the tournament, Coach Whitefield feels his team has the ability to play even better.
“I would rather start 5-0 than 0-5, but I know we can play a lot better and expect us to improve throughout the season.” The Coach added, “We need to remain healthy, do well in the classroom, and put forth a great effort every time we step on the court.”
On Dec. 1, the Wildkits kept up their pace by decisively beating Glenbrook North, 46-14, in Northbrook. The Kits defense stifled GBN, forcing 30 turnovers, and holding GBN to only 2 points in the first half. Kits Leighah-Amori scored a team high of 9 points and Savannah and Leah each scored 8 to secure the win. This was the Kits 6th straight victory.
Next up, the Kits take on Maine South on Dec. 4 in the home opener at Beardsley Gym in Evanston. From there, they participate in the Chicago Showcase against Rock Island on Dec. 5 at Fremd.
Regarding Maine South, Coach Whitefield knows the Kits will have their hands full. “Maine South has four starters returning from last year’s team,” said the Coach. “We split with them last year and I am sure they will be ready to compete. They always are.”
Look for the Kits to be ready to play as well, not only against Maine South, but against each remaining opponent this season.